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Home > Cats > What Breed of Cat Is Pete the Cat? Bestselling Book Characters Explained

What Breed of Cat Is Pete the Cat? Bestselling Book Characters Explained

a fierce looking domestic shorthair cat

With the growth of cute pets on social media, one doesn’t have to search long for something that makes a smile stretch across the face. From real animals to cartoon characters, you are sure to find something that makes your day, especially for children. Cartoon characters can be an excellent way to teach small children morals and values, and one such cat that teaches these wonderful assets is Pete the Cat.

Pete the Cat is a fictional blue anthropomorphic cat, and although the breed is unclear, he’s believed to be a domestic shorthair. But that’s just a guess based on the real-life cat that Pete was invented from. Let’s learn more about Pete the Cat and his “groovy” style.


Who Is Pete the Cat?

Pete the Cat is the brainchild of a former electrical engineer named James Dean. After James retired from his electrical engineering career, he concentrated on his artwork and even began selling his work at art festivals. It was during this time that James decided to draw his beloved adopted black cat named Pete. His cat began turning up in multiple artworks as a character in 1999. Pete has blue fur, yellow eyes, a triangular-shaped nose, and no mouth. James explained that Pete has no mouth because the real cat’s mouth was never visible due to his black coat. In fact, the only time you may see Pete the Cat’s mouth is if he’s smiling, talking, or eating.

James eventually partnered with Kim Dean (no relation) in 2004, a best-selling author and artist of children’s books in her own right. The two collaborated and released The Misadventures of Pete the Cat in 2006, with James in charge of the illustrations and Kim in charge of the verbiage. Today, you can find Pete the Cat in over 60 children’s books, a TV show, a few musicals, and even on the cover of McDonald’s Happy Meals.

Pete the Cat’s Personality

Pete the Cat is a friendly, easy-going, sensible, and intelligent cat around the age of 6–10 years old with a positive attitude. He is quiet and only speaks at the end of each lesson.

It wasn’t until 2008 that Pete the Cat’s first book was self-published with the title Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, which was written by musician Eric Litwin. In the book, Pete has white shoes that he loves. He sings, “I love my white shoes,” until he steps into a pile of strawberries, which turns his white shoes red. He doesn’t cry but keeps singing, changing the lyrics to “I love my red shoes.” This happens a few times with other colors until Pete steps in a puddle, which washes all the colors away and turns the shoes back to white but still wet. The moral of the story is to keep going no matter what you step in and keep singing your song because “it’s all good.”

In 2010, the book was picked up by the well-known publishing house HarperCollins. From there Pete the Cat hit the status as the most beloved children’s book character worldwide after many more publications, and the rest is history.

What Are the Lessons of Pete the Cat?

Teachers love the book because it teaches children that whatever happens in life, you can rise above it, which is also a valuable lesson for adults. The stories teach how to keep a positive attitude, no matter the circumstance, and how to manage emotions by changing the outlook on negative occurrences.

All the lessons are positive and also teach the morals and values of life. Pete also has the help of many friends in his lessons, as quite a few characters accompany him on his adventures.



Pete the Cat is an inspiration to children and adults worldwide. His lessons are valuable and teach how to cope with life in a positive way, no matter the situation. Even though we’re not sure of his cat breed, we know he was inspired by James Dean’s real-life black cat of the same name, and he continues to teach positivity around the globe.

Featured Image Credit: tasukaran, Pixabay

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